Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Amsterdam 1983 - Toronto 2001

Picture - Me standing inside the clock tower of the Royal Palace over looking the center of Amsterdam for the last time!

Wow time flies !... its been 3 years today, since I have moved back to Toronto from Amsterdam. It really seems as though I have been here longer though. Strange! So much has happen in these 3 years, and I would think its time to look back and see what I have accomplished so far.

Well, after 3 years I have certainly established myself as a good horn player, and finally now am getting some great gigs. This year alone I have a great line up of really difficult works that I need to perform with various orchestras on first horn.

My 2 day jobs are going well, although working as a administrator in the arts sector is always dicey and one never knows when the house of cards all tumble down.

My family, my Dad unfortunately died, so did my Uncle. Also my 40-year-old cousin in Holland died of Brain Tumor. Boy that’s a lot of losses! And just recently my best longest and oldest girlfriend, she was only 46, a wonderful person, and musician.

But… on the other hand my mom underwent open heart surgery and is now doing great, my brother in law ripped his heal muscle, and had to hop around for 6 months in a cast, but is doing great with his newly open private home renovations business. My own health, has not gotten better in the last 3 years, sort of let myself go, but with the recent diagnosis, the motivation has kicked in, and my life style change is still in action, and now I am 10 kilos lighter…

The rest of the family doing well, the kids all getting bigger and older, when I arrived in Toronto I was surrounded in 5 pre teens, now all full fledged teenagers…all thinking they have all the solutions to all the worlds problems.

Was I right to move back ??


Too much has happened and changed in Holland, the most importantly the currency change from the Guilder to the Euro, and because of this change I have heard nothing else but complaints from all my old friends and family in Holland that it has become so expensive and is very hard to make ends meet !

Not only am I glad I came back because of economic reasons, but because I missed my family, got to spend 3 years at least with my dad before he passed, and I have been here to take care of my ageing and more frail mother.


I am CANADIAN ! and always have been ! and I love being back in my own culture, speaking my own language again. I hated speaking Dutch ! and really didn’t fully understand their culture and ways !

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Today I decided to go swimming ! I haven't gone for so long, at least a year, and it was so HOT. So off we went, Caroline, Ineke, Nicholas and my self, to the big olympic pool at the beaches. AH... it was so wonderfull to be weightless once again. I swam 14 laps, 700 metres in total length. I felt great.. we'll do it again tomorrow, for sure. Poor Milo has been alone almost all day... well, it's raining now any way, so time to sit down and have a nice dinner together.

If I go swimming every day, will my skin dry up and fall off?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Sisters Forever !

Yesterday, Sunday we had a nice family party at Ineke's place. There were 14 of us in total ! wow, its so nice to have a big family.

The picture above is of me, and my 3 sisters.

I am so glad that being of Dutch background that Birthdays are celebrated in the tradtional way, of getting together as a family and enjoying each others company!

I did not have any cake.. remember.. LIFE STYLE CHANGE mode.... and still I had a great time !

Food doesn't make you happy, having a big wonderful family does !!

Friday, August 20, 2004

50 YEARS AGO ! * August 20, 1954

Today it is exactly 50 years ago that my Mom, Dad and my older sister Ineke, had emigrated from Holland to Toronto.

Wow... time flies!

Sadly only my Mom can celebrate as my Dad passed away last February.

It’s really neat to think what Toronto might have looked like 50 years ago.
I remember my mom saying her first impression of Toronto was not the greatest, as she thought it looked very ugly with all the telephone poles lining all the streets, it looked cluttered and not pleasing to the eye.

I’m going over tonight to see Mom and bring her a celebratory meal to mark this special day !

Skyline of Toronto


So today I recieved information about my health ! And I do indeed need to change my life style and quick.
I guess this is one way, spend 20 minutes or so , at the end of the evening writing, instead of sitting on the couch, wanting to munch on something while watching TV. Its really that part of the day, the late evening that is the killer for me. Late night snacking with TV. And now espeically with all this late night Olympic news. That is so hypocritical too ! watching all these lean fast human bodies racing through lengths of a pool in no time, as I once again hork down another bag of popcorn, or chips ! why?

Is is comforting ? is it a drug, or is it lonleyness ?